Tender Mercies


Robert Duvall excels in his only Oscar-winning role to date

“Hey mister – were you really Mac Sledge?” asks a passer-by.

“Yes ma’am, I guess I was,” replies Robert Duvall’s ex-country singer, a recovering alcoholic struggling with more than just the loss of his reputation in Bruce Beresford’s quietly powerful film.

A precursor to Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart, Duvall won a Best Actor Oscar – his only Academy Award to date – but there’s more to his work than simply warbling C&W ballads.

Playwright Horton Foote’s exemplary screenplay – another Oscar winner – paints a redemptive picture of a man gradually piecing his life back together; Duvall embodies it beautifully.

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